On Friday morning, I awoke at 4:30am (not an unusual occurrence courtesy of Baby E) to drive to the airport and catch a plane to Sydney for the day (a very, VERY unusual occurrence). To add to the surreal nature of the experience, I was actually camping. So at 4:45 am in the morning I donned a fancy dress and sparkly shoes and applied make-up in the camping amenity block.
Sarah and I had been shortlisted as finalists in the Bupa Blog Awards. The awards lunch was being held in Sydney and we are Brisbane girls. At first, I didn’t think we would go. It seemed too expensive. Too much of an imposition on our families. But friends and family both encouraged us – how many chances like this will you get in your lifetime? they asked. And so we both booked our tickets, looking forward to attending together, a lunch without our children in tow and celebrating our blogs modest success. The days passed and our excitement grew. And then reality happened. Sarah became very ill and had to be hospitalised.
The glistening allure of plane travel has never dimmed for me but my excitement on Friday was muted. Sarah had been warned against plane travel by her doctor. We both shed tears over it. I know there were moments when Sarah was ready to discount the doctors orders, but she did the right thing by her family and stayed put.
And so I headed to Sydney, excited but dismayed. This blog is so much about the both of us, and so important to us both, that it seemed so very wrong to be heading there without her. I boarded the plane with nothing more than my handbag, a camera, a phone that kept threatening to run short of battery and the wish that Sarah was beside me.
The awards lunch was held at the Ivy – a beautiful venue filled with light and reminiscent of the Hamptons. I met other bloggers – gorgeous and friendly people who, like me, were excited to be there, humbled to be finalists and completely sure that they would not win. I met a blog crush, and previous winner – Carly Findlay – who is as lovely in real life as she is online. I was seated next to the uber cool and oh so beautiful Hipster Mum (you seriously should check her out), the gorgeous Cate from All Cats Are Grey in the Dark and the wonderfully warm and friendly Stace from A Healthy Mum.
We were treated to a gorgeous lunch and inspiring speakers. Sally Obermeder of Swiish and Daily Edition fame shared her inspirational story with us – she is a lady that just doesn’t quit. She fought hard to lose weight. And succeeded. She fought hard to get into television journalism. And succeeded. She fought hard to fall pregnant. And succeeded. She fought hard to survive a cancer that her doctors told her was fatal. And succeeded. Whilst she had plenty of support, she always knew that her main motivation had to be internal. No one else was going to fight her battles – she had to find the strength and the determination within herself.
Lee Holmes of Super Charged Food, last year’s winner, shared her amazing story and her blogging tips. She is all about authenticity, pointing out that readers can smell-out “strategy” very quickly. She posts when she feels, what she feels and her readers respond to that. After initially investing too much time in her blog (perhaps it’s a newbie trap) she now has achieved a sense of balance and puts her health first. Always. She practises what she preaches. I took mental notes.
I learned so much from both speakers. As I savoured my last drink, and realised that my unreliable phone had finally given up the last of its battery power, they announced the last of the category winners. I settled in, ready to congratulate the deserving winner of our category, which was certainly not going to be us. When they announced that Sarah and I had won our category, I didn’t quite believe it. In a state of disbelief, and completely depleted eloquence, I accepted our award. Even now, it seems a little bit difficult to believe that I left a family holiday, flew out to Sydney, had a fancy lunch, accepted a blogging award and then headed back to a tent.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was phone Sarah. But my phone had run completely flat. In some act of serendipity, there was a phone charger within the goody bag. So I located a spare outlet and let Sarah know our amazing news. The champagne is on ice so that we can celebrate properly together.
Congratulations to all finalists and winners. The winners were:
About a Bugg winner of Social Good AND Best Overall Blog
We are so excited, humbled, proud and incredibly surprised to be named the winners of our category. We created this blog together because we wanted to make some thing beautiful, some thing that would help, some thing that we would both be proud of. To be recognised at this very early stage is so much more than either of us dared to dream.
I don’t know what the future holds for us and this particular corner of the internet, but whatever it is I look forward to enjoying it. Together.